FISU officials have praised Chengdu 2021 for work conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic ©FISU

Wang Fengchao has been appointed Mayor of Chengdu, a key position in the build-up to next year's Summer World University Games in the Chinese city.

Officials from the International University Sports Federation (FISU) have congratulated Wang, who will be closely involved with preparations for the Games, for his appointment to the role.

Chengdu 2021 has been praised for its progress in organising the multi-sport event during the coronavirus pandemic.

"We have not been able to make inspection visits to Chengdu since months, due to the COVID-19 pandemic," said FISU secretary general Eric Saintrond. 

"We, along with the Federation of University Sports of China, had strongly hoped that we would be able to send our staff and hold meetings in Chengdu, to assist the Organising Committee but it has not been possible so far.

Chengdu has made considerable progress despite the pandemic, according to FISU ©Getty Images
Chengdu has made considerable progress despite the pandemic, according to FISU ©Getty Images

"However, we have been in continuous contact with the Organising Committee nearly on a daily basis, throughout the period of this pandemic. 

"Thanks to this very close cooperation, the work has progressed even during the lockdown and I applaud the Organising Committee for their enthusiasm and work during this difficult period."

FISU Summer Games director Marc Vandenplas expressed his hope that Wang's appointment will help organisers "finalise some important issues and urgent matters".

"I want to congratulate the new Mayor of Chengdu for his nomination and hope that FISU will have the same privileged relation with him as before," said Vandenplas. 

"We have had regular meetings with the Mayor, his staff and the Organising Committee and we hope this very efficient and fruitful process will not only be followed, but reinforced.

"In the present Organising Committee structure, the role of the Mayor is essential, and I hope that this official nomination will facilitate the decision-making process and help us finalise some important and urgent matters."